Is Management Afraid of VOC?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Is Management Afraid of VOC?

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    I will be giving a talk in a few months, and I want to gather anecdotal info from anyone who is willing to provide it. I have found elements of management (mostly in public companies) that are afraid of VOC. They have grown up believig that the only time you communicate with a customer is when something has gone wrong. Any attempts to formalize communication with customers, especially VOC, seems to terrify them. They don’t know what to expect and the thought scares them. They would rather try to come up with answers on their own. Have any of you ever experienced this? If you have, please share your stories…



    One time while walking through the mall, this kiosk girl asked……..Sorry wrong thread.
    I have run into this, yes, public company, one with many divisions, working with each other, each division with their own financial goals, so it got cut-throat quickly, between divisions. 
    Culturally, the divisions only communicated between each other with the issues (Fire-fighting), and not being proactive, or soliciting VOC.  Although our division was implementing Six Sigma, all projects, where basically internal, not external. 
    I saw it as a cultural issue. Once knowing how a GM was rewarded for performance, all hinged on hitting the financial goals, and NO measurement of VOC (Customer satisfaction), it was better understood, many of the actions. 
    I would not say they were SCARED, just that they were not measured and kept all actions to JUST hitting the financials.
    Now, a Quality Manager, should know that taking care of the VOC, should lead to better financial success, but the organizational culture, I was in, was not there.



    I have worked for a company that was actually all the other way at the opposite end of the spectrum – the customer was never wrong and they bent over backwards to do whatever the customer wanted.  They never obsoleted a product, leading to an explosion of SKU’s causing impossible manufacturing complexity.  This in the face of their suppliers obsoleting electronic components resulting in HUGE last time buys and reengineering products, not to improve performance but just to match current performance (thus sub-optimizing the design).
    Don’t forget, there are multiple customers – the user, maintenance, supply chain, manufacturing, and internal company management just to name a few.  All of these need to be understood and balanced against one another.

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